Mac OS X Leopard, Windows Vista, Flamewars... Oh My!
I have to say that the last few days have been interesting to say the least. I have been reading all the diarrhea of the mouth that has been spewing back and forth between Mac's and PC's ;)
This post is in response to many post I have been reading. I happen to pick 3 out of the bunch, but there are more where these came from, trust me.
I have to say that it all comes down to ignorance. I have been part of the Windows world ever since I can remember and been doing development on Windows since I was 17. I have always had my likes and dislikes about Windows. I think everyone does. I started using a Mac when they released Mac OS X version 10.0. I am a technology freak. I love reading about new OS releases. I remember reading about NeXT and their technologies. I knew that what was being released was part of what came out of the Apple purchase of NeXT.
Once I started using Mac OS X, I started getting familiar with that user base. Their big expo shows, the keynote speech, and all the hype. It was like waiting for your birthday or Christmas. I remember saying to my self I have become one of these fanatics. So knowing what I do about their shows. The WWDC is held every year for the developers that support the Mac OS X platform. Everything presented and announced at these shows are for the benefit of the developer.
So I wanted to touch on the things that Steve Jobs announced and throw in my .02. First of all, Steve and company did not keep using the term of innovation for everything they were showing off. Innovation is creating something new, even if that means utilizing something that already exist and making it better or easier to use. The iPod is innovative. It the whole idea something new? No it is not. There were MP3 players out before the iPod. The iPod just was an innovative way to store and play your music. The way you interacted with it and retrieved your music was a major part of what was innovative with the iPod. With that said, I will continue on with my comments.
In general, when Steve and company say something is new in this keynote, they really mean it's new for the Mac community. So the new Mail features are new to Mac users. They were not claiming that it was some new thing that no one else has in there Mail application. This conference was for Mac developers. This was not a consumer show. Everything was relative to Mac OS X, the development of Mac OS X, and the developers of Mac OS X. The fact that he had others come out and help... maybe, just maybe, he is allowing the people that had a huge hand in developing these technologies present them so they feel like they have a part. It's called being a team. Maybe you never heard of that?
Time Machine; This is based on a technology that is seen in many other places. One of the places mentioned a lot was Windows Server 2003. This is all true. So what is innovative about this? The interface. The way that they made it easy enough to use and understand so that the average consumer can use it. My mother could use Time Machine. My mother could not use the Restore Point system and Previous Versions that Windows Server 2003 contains. It has an SDK that developers can use so that their applications can utilize the same functionality. That is the difference.
Spaces; Yes it is virtual desktops for Mac OS X. Yeah we all know that KDE, GNOME, et al have had Virtual desktops since before the man was here. Once again it is new to Mac OS X and has a very easy and clean interface. The thing I liked was the monitor panel like view, where you see all 4 desktops at once and interact with them while there zoomed out. This is just a start of something they can expand on. I think it is a great addition... FOR MAC OS X.
CoreAnimation; This is strictly for developers. All the Core "pillars" that Apple has provided are for developers so they can provide great technologies to the developers. Once again this is new for developers. Animation is not something Apple invented and they are not claiming that!
Universal Access; I think you would have to be a drooling invalid to not see this is way better then Windows Vista and not innovative. That voice is one of the best I have heard in text to speech systems.
Mail; The features were new to Mac OS X users. The other features like notes and to-do's are just the start of a system wide set of services that will allow collaboration across the board for applications. They will release an SDK to developers that will allow them to add the same services in there applications and share data. The other features are similar to other Mail applications, but much easier to use. That seems to be a constant theme... easier to use. Hmm, interesting. That is all I got to say about that *Forest Gump*.
iChat; Once more, these are all new features for Mac OS X users and developers. I figure if I keep repeating my self, they will get the point eventually. I do have to say that the collaboration features are great additions and much cleaner then most IM apps I have used.
Mac OS X Leopard is still in development. There will be many more features. Steve even mentioned some top secret features that were not going to be shown at this time. These features are most likely something that is geared toward the users and will be big when they are announced. I just have to say I still use Windows everyday. I am a .NET Developer. I think .NET and C# is probably the best things Microsoft has released in a long time. I am very disappointed in Vista. Vista has been in development for 5 years and we still do not have a product close to production release. Mac OS X has had 6 major updates since 2001. Leopard will be a big release too when it is complete. I can honestly say that using my MacBook Pro has restored my faith in computers. It is really refreshing to use a system that I do not have to reformat my hard drive and reinstall the operating system on a regular basis. I do not have to worry about all the viruses and spy ware. I can just get up in the morning and work. I even do .NET and C# using Mono on Mac OS X. So I am still using the technologies I use every day in the Windows world on my Mac. I still have a Windows PC at home, but my girlfriend uses that since I am on my Mac almost 100% of the time now. She is always complaining about pop ups and search bars being installed that she never authorized. I just smile and let out a sigh of relief. I don't have to worry about those things.
Take care until next time ;)
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